Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bees working my Crocus

While out in my yard, still cleaning up after super storm Sandy, I saw several bees working my Crocus, gathering pollen.  Can't seem to see which way they are coming or going to/from, so I don't know where the hive is.  Its a good sign though as I had thought the winter might have taken its toll on the feral hives too.  Maybe I'll be able to catch a few swarms this spring after all,
I thought that may have been asking to much.  My new bees arrive the last week of April, just in time for the flowering ash bloom.

The yard looks like hell from me cutting up the big tree.  I made ten or so slabs from the main trunk (table material) and have two huge piles of firewood.  The trunk had turned punky so I'm finishing it up into firewood.  Have slowed down considerably since I hurt my neck, but it hasn't stopped me.  Our next bee meet-up is next week, can't wait to here how the rest have survived the winter.  Later

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Varora inspection

Yesterday I pulled the bottom board from the nasty hive and with a magnifying glass, searched for the dreaded Varora mite.  I had been expecting to find some evidence as the reason for all my hive disappearing.
After a careful search I found only a few dead mites, not as many as I would have thought to kill off the hive. It was the first time that there was evidence of a mite problem as I had systematically inspected all summer and had found no evidence they existed in my colonies.  I did use screened bottom boards to help stem the problem anyway.  I guess this year I will switch to a resistant queen, probably a Minnesota hybrid, and do a much better job monitoring and following the instructions from the attached video.  Watch it, its very informative.  Later